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Iraq-nam Accomplished

Today Congress delivers to President Bush the bill that sets timetables for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Today is also the fourth anniversary of the day when Bush landed a jet onto the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, and in front of a huge sign saying “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED,” declared that major fighting was over. Unfortunately, for him and for us, he was wrong. The mission was merely changing from “regime change” to “Iraq-nam.”

On May 1, 2003, Bush stated:

Major combat operations have ended. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.

It's interesting to note that at that time we had 150,000 troops in Iraq. Today we have 160,000 or more troops. Some people call this progress, just as some people thought we were making progress in Vietnam. Like Vietnam then, Iraq today is in one horrible mess. Nothing is going right. We see bloodshed everywhere - with one new wrinkle: suicide bombers. Iraq is in the midst of a ferocious civil war and Americans seem to be upsetting both sides. A majority of Iraqis want us to leave, and a majority of Americans want us to leave.

Democrats are pushing. But stubborn Bush resists. He "knows" that he alone knows what's good for the country. He will veto this bill. And so Iraq-nam remains.

Until recently, most Republicans were with him. But lately, William Buckley, mister-conservative himself, thinks the war is lost. And George Will, another solid conservative, replied to Stephanopoulos when he asked what would happen if General Petraeus does not meet the September deadline:

Absolutely [large scale Republican defections]. They do not want to have, as they had in 2006, another election on Iraq. George, it took 30, 40 years for the Republican Party to get out from under Herbert Hoover. People would say, “Are you going to vote for Nixon in ‘60?” “No, I don’t like Hoover.” The Depression haunted the Republican Party. This could be a foreign policy equivalent of the Depression, forfeiting the Republican advantage they’ve had since the ‘68 convention of the Democratic Party and the nomination of [George] McGovern. The advantage Republicans have had on national security matters may be forfeited.

So Bush will be another Hoover. So what. Even this sort of talk does not budge Bush. Stubborness made Vietnam worse. Stubborness will make Iraq-nam worse.

In a very important way, Iraq-nam is a lot worse than Vietnam: it is taking our focus away from the fight against Al Qaeda. Not only are we getting Americans killed every day, our armed forces are being stretched so dangerously thin that we do not have enough troops to fight our real enemy: Al Qaeda.

Nothing but extending the misfortune of Iraq-nam is being accomplished with Bush's veto.

NOTE: Because of the delay in posting, references to "today" actually refer to "yesterday."

Posted by Paul Siegel at May 2, 2007 12:30 AM
Comment #219044

While we are commemorating “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED”, checkout these quotes from the Washington Post editorial page:

Presidential staffs — and we know this is a shocking concept — worry quite a bit about the way their visits will look on TV — and they work to get the most picturesque backdrop! And a president who wins a war — whether you agreed with that war or not — pretty much gets to greet returning troops wherever he wants… Their real gripe with Mr. Bush is that he looked great; the president pulled off his “Top Gun” act as much as Michael Dukakis flubbed his spin in a tank

That’s right. In May 2003, WON THE WAR. Thank you, liberal f&%cking media! Thank you, so-called Bush hating media! Heckuva job, there, Postie!

Tip o’ the hat to Glenn Greenwald in Salon for providing the quote.

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 2, 2007 10:53 AM
Comment #219057

The way I see it Bush is vetoing an unconstitutional bill.
Congress CANNOT stop a war by legislation. But Pelosi and Reid are either to stupid to know that, or don’t care about destroying the Constitution. And most likely both.
They insist on playing their power games with Bush and all the while our kids are dying.
But neither them or Bush care as long as they win the power game. Meantime our youngsters are dying.
It hasn’t sunk in yet to most folks but we’re in a catch 22 in Iraq. We can’t pull out without a win or the world (specially the radical Muslims) will perceive us as weak and that leaves us in more danger of being attacked again. And we aint gonna win without a major change in policy. A change that aint coming any time soon.
The only person that can legally bring our youngsters home won’t because he’s to dumb to realize that the war was over when Saddam was removed. He’s screwed the pouch on ‘nation building’ but won’t admit it. And our children are dying.
Congress is willing to pass a bill they know will be vetoed so the can lie to the American people that they care about our kids. And our boys and girls are dying.
BULLHOCKEY!!! Congress doesn’t care about our youngins. All they care about is political power and making Bush look bad. And our kids are dying.
Paul is right. We’re in another Vietnam. And our politicians on BOTH sides are the blame.

PS, The irony of it all is Bush is very capable of making himself look bad and doesn’t need the help of Congress.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 2, 2007 1:01 PM
Comment #219070


Neither of us are Constitutional scholars, but it seems to me this bill is constitutional. Everyone agrees that Congress could end the war fairly quickly just by withholding funds. I don’t see how it is unconstitutional to provide funds with strings attached. That is like saying you can fire someone but you can’t put them on probation.

If you actually look at the Constitution, Congress is explicitly given pretty broad powers in regard to war.

Furthermore, if the bill is unconstitutional, why doesn’t Bush just say so? That would strengthen his case immensely.

The Democrats are doing what Republicans said they could do: use the power of the purse. If you don’t like it, the solution is to elect different representatives.

Posted by: Woody Mena at May 2, 2007 2:13 PM
Comment #219120

The Constitution only gives Congress the power to declare war. But only after the President asks them too. NOWHERE does it say they can stop a war. Even by withholding funds. Which is about a stupid way to end a war even if the Constitution gave Congress the power.
If the Constitution doesn’t give them the power THEY AINT GOT IT. But then why should anyone that hates the Constitution as much as the Democrats worry about something like that?
I don’t have any idea why Dumbassed Bush don’t just come out and say that. Maybe he’s like the Democrats. None of them know their ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to the Constitution.

BTW, Why does someone need to be a ‘Constitutional Scholar’ to know what’s in it? All they have to do is read it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 2, 2007 7:54 PM
Comment #219123


For our edification, then, in whom does Congress explicitly vest the authority to end a war? Please quote the relevant passage.

Posted by: Jarandhel at May 2, 2007 8:21 PM
Comment #219124

Please replace “Congress” with “the Constitution” in my previous comment. Sorry, been a busy few days and I’m pretty tired.

Posted by: Jarandhel at May 2, 2007 8:23 PM
Comment #219161

Congress is giving itself the power to end a war. This is unconstitutional as they don’t have constitutional power to end a war with legislation. But then they don’t care about the Constitution as it seems to always get in their way.
There are two ways a war ends. One is for one side to surrender. The other is through a peace treaty.
In this country the Executive Branch negotiates the treaties. Then the Senate approves them.
HMMMMMM! Seem like Dumbass Pelosi and her cohorts in the House are out of the loop. But then she despises the Constitution and she thinks she’s above it. So it’s not surprising she’d go for a bill like this one.

Posted by: Ron Brown at May 2, 2007 11:08 PM
Comment #219250
“In a very important way, Iraq-nam is a lot worse than Vietnam: it is taking our focus away from the fight against Al Qaeda.”

Don’t think so Paul. This article (Al-Qaida ousted from one Iraqi district)
shows that one, the surge is working and two, that the terrorists and their supporters are in big trouble. Read it and weep.

And, I know some of you are going to comment on that this is just ONE district; however, this is a start and (certainly) good news for America and bad news for the terrorists and their supporters!!

Posted by: rahdigly at May 3, 2007 4:57 PM
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